Northern League Day fixture: Crook Town v Guisborough Town.
There used to be a time when over 10,000 fans would squeeze into Millfield for a big Cup game; these days the crowd is closer to 100 fans. But at this ground you won’t notice any gaps as you’ll be too busy taking in the character of your surroundings. As you enter through the only open turnstile you’re faced with a bank and a small number of concrete steps leading up to the back of open terracing stretching out behind the goal.
Running along the left side touchline is, at first, a large area of covered terracing, one which is a reminder of a bygone age and sadly lacking at football grounds. Further along is an old, all seater stand that houses the players changing rooms. The home team enters the pitch from the middle of this stand while the away team have to walk along the front of the stand to join them for the pitch entrance. You can also grab a pint in Crook’s clubhouse which is located by the turnstile.
If you look closely at the metal overhang above the terracing then you’ll see a number of chips, each caused by the clash of a clearance off it, with the first being caused by Frank Clark who would later join Newcastle United and win the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup before joining Nottingham Forest and winning the European Cup.
Crook’s glory years were a long time before Clark’s period. They won their first of five F.A Amateur Cups in 1901 and would play a series of ten friendlies against F.C. Barcelona, defeating them twice and drawing four times. Their most famous son was Jack Greenwell, who would become Barca’s first official coach and the only non-South American to guide a country to Copa America victory when he managed Peru in 1939.
On Northern League Day Crook Town will entertain highflying Guisborough Town. The clash will see a shoot-out between two of the best players in the league: the home side’s prolific Andrew Appleby and the away side’s David Onions, scorer of three consecutive hat-tricks earlier this year. This will be one of the places to be on the 9th April.
How to get there.
From the north – turn off the A1 at junction 62 (Durham) and follow the A690 towards Durham. Continue on this road for almost 13 miles until you enter Crook and you’ll see Millfield on your right hand side. Parking is available opposite the ground.
From the south – turn off the A1 at junction 58 (Darlington) and take the first exit at the roundabout following the A68. Continue on this road for almost 16 miles then take the third exit at the roundabout onto the A689 and enter Crook where you’ll see the ground after 2 miles on your left hand side. Parking is available opposite the ground.
The postcode for Millfield is DL15 9PW.
Many thanks to Andy Hudson for providing this ground guide. For more information and photos of Crook Town visit Gannin’ Away.